Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is so important when it comes to your mental wellbeing, and it should be one of the first things you address when you are looking to change your outlook on life. One of our favourite Ted Talks at Wellbeing in Your Office is ‘The power of vulnerability’ ted talk by Brené Brown.
What is the Ted Talk about?
Brené Brown’s research focused on what people who were able to form fulfilling connections with others had in common. She found that what often holds us back when connecting is shame and fear, specifically our fears about sharing our authentic selves. People who have the most fulfilling connections have a sense of worthiness: the belief that they are deserving of love and belonging.
You need to be vulnerable and have the courage to share who you truly are in order to connect with others.
How can you be more vulnerable?
It is absolutely necessary to be vulnerable, but this won’t always be comfortable. It is vital to accept that this will be the case.
Brown also notes that you cannot choose to numb yourself to painful or uncomfortable vulnerability, you need to experience this in order to experience the more fulfilling and pleasant emotional vulnerability.
Brown ends her Ted Talk with four main ways to open yourself up to vulnerability:
- Let yourself be seen and understood by others.
- Love wholeheartedly, even without a guarantee of your love being requited.
- Practice joy and gratitude.
- Believe that you are enough, and that you are deserving of love and belonging.
What does vulnerability look like in everyday life?
We often shy away from vulnerability out of fear and shame. In everyday life it can present as some of the following:
- Being the first person in a relationship to say ‘I love you’.
- Initiating physical intimacy, both romantically and platonically.
- Being honest about your mistakes and flaws, both with yourself and others.
- Asking for help when you need it.
- Being able to give and receive praise and criticism.
- Telling your friends and family how much they mean to you.
Why is vulnerability so important?
Aside from helping you to form meaningful connections, vulnerability can have other benefits on your wellbeing.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness, it takes a lot of courage to open up and be honest with how you’re feeling- but this is key for recovery, especially if you’re in therapy.
Vulnerability can also help you to understand your own feelings better and truly evaluate which areas of your life need to change if you’re felling unhappy. Accepting that life isn’t going how you would like, whether personally or at work, can be the first step in making a change.
How can mindfulness help you to be more vulnerable?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation which aims to bring awareness to how you are feeling, both physically and mentally, in the present moment. This self-awareness has many benefits, including improved mood, reduced stress, and better decision making and focus.
Awareness is a big part of vulnerability, and the main benefit of mindfulness is that it improves your ability to not only recognise how you are feeling, but to accept these feelings too.
Mindfulness is also great for practicing gratitude. It helps you to notice life’s small pleasures and really cherish these moments.
How can you apply this to the workplace?
At Wellbeing in Your Office we are passionate about improving the wellbeing of our workforce. By encouraging your employees to be more vulnerable, you can start to build a happier workplace. The connections that vulnerability can form between employees can not only boost productivity and happiness, but can also create a sense of cohesion and community in the office.
Encourage your colleagues to share both their successes and failures, ask for help when it is needed, and be open about how they are feeling.
Our mindfulness courses are a great way to get your team to practice vulnerability.
Whilst vulnerability may feel scary at first, remember that accepting this feeling and becoming more open is the first step towards more fulfilling connections.
What is your experience with vulnerability and what do you think of this Ted Talk?